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The University of Iowa

Summer 2013


Parent to parent

Their bags are packed, they're ready to go...

Meet this year's University Housing & Dining scholarship winners

Move-in schedule


Man carrying chair into Currier Hall

Parent to Parent

UI parents share their advice for move-in day and the big goodbye

Moving a child to college is a big transition for everyone. To help ease what’s sure to a busy and emotional day, we asked a few parents who experienced move-in last fall to offer words of wisdom to the parents of this year’s incoming class. Here is what they had to say:

Give yourself plenty of time. We could have squeezed it all in one very full day, but instead we chose to arrive a day early and spent a relaxing evening together with no deadlines. We also chose to leave the siblings at home, so we could focus solely on Ben, our oldest.

We made our parting words very positive and made every attempt to convey to Ben, once again, that we were excited for him and for all the fun and new experiences he was about to begin. We did not dwell on the obvious. He already knew how much would were going to miss him. The last thing you want is to leave your student feeling bad about how sad his or her parents are.

That final goodbye is very hard, especially with a first child. Ben did not turn back and watch us drive away. I guess that was symbolic of his first year at Iowa—he never did look back. He just kept moving forward in the most positive way, starting a new life as a Hawkeye and loving his new experience.

Bev and Bill Koehler, Leawood, Kan.
Parents of sophomore Ben Koehler

Move-in always takes longer than you think it will, and once you get started you just want to power through and get it done so that everyone can relax before the parents head back home. It’s a great day if you bring the right attitude.

Here are some things that saved us:

  • Bringing a toolbox with lots of tools, hooks, hangers, duct tape, and extra-long Ethernet cables (and it’s helpful to review the floor plan beforehand so you know where the cable outlet is and where the TV should go)
  • Taking time up front to pack everything in something: stackable containers (such as Tupperware or boxes), suitcases, trash bags, etc.
  • A cooler with sandwiches, snacks, and drinks

Denise Holder, La Grange, Ill.
Parent of sophomore Alex Holder

We were very impressed with all of the Iowa students and staff that planned and participated in move-in day last summer! They did a fantastic job and it went very, very well. Some advice for the day:

  • Be patient. The lines move quickly, and there are so many kids available to help unload.
  • Make the bed first. Most students will stay out late the first night, and it’s nice for them to have their bed ready to crash on at the end of a very eventful day.
  • It’s always hard to say goodbye, but remember how proud you are of them and all the hard work they put in to get to the University of Iowa. Make it more of a ‘good luck’ than a ‘goodbye.’

Karen Duvall, Crystal Lake, Ill.
Parent of sophomore Sarah Duvall

The Office of Admissions offers advice for parents of first-year students at



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